The 3 Main Types of Influenza

Posted on: September 16, 2018

Influenza, also known as the flu, can be a horrible illness to experience, leaving you completely bedridden and unable to go to work, interact socially or sleep comfortably.

By being able to distinguish the difference between influenza A, B, and C, however, you can determine the best course of treatment and whether or not medical assistance is needed to recover properly.

Types of Influenza

As mentioned, there are three different types of influence: Influenza A, Influenza B, and Influenza C.

Although they are similar to one another, each case of influenza has a unique set of symptoms and varying treatment methods for dealing with them.

Influenza A

Influenza A is the most dangerous form of flu and is the common cause of flu epidemics. What makes Influenza A particularly dangerous is its ability to pass from animal to human, which is a characteristic not found in either Influenza B or C.

Subsequently, most serious flu outbreaks, such as bird flu or swine flu, are the result of the influenza A virus. The symptoms of influenza A are very similar to that of influenza B, although in some instances they tend to be much worse. In most cases, the common symptoms include congestion, sore throat and a fever.

It’s important to closely monitor the symptoms of influenza A and seek medical assistance immediately if they begin to worsen.

Influenza B

Type B influenza is far more common in humans than influenza A, and it can only be transmitted from human to human, which is unlike influenza A where it is contagious between both animals and humans.

Although influenza B symptoms aren’t typically as concerning or life-threatening as influenza A symptoms, they can in some instances be just as severe and require prompt medical attention to control and eventually reduce the symptoms. The best treatment method for influenza B is to receive proper rest and stay hydrated.

If the most common symptoms, which include fever, congestion and body aches, begin to worsen or linger for more than a week, it is essential to go to an urgent care clinic for treatment.

Influenza C

Influenza C is the least concerning type of flu and does not carry the ability to start an epidemic. Although the symptoms of influenza C are far less severe and many are even able to carry on with their daily routine without feeling too fatigued or ill, it is essential to try and abstain from interacting with others in a public setting as much as possible as influenza C is still contagious.

Only in very rare instances does influenza C result in a doctor’s visit, and the symptoms can easily be treated with home remedies and over the counter medication. The symptoms of influenza C, which typically includes a sore throat, slight headache, and mild fever, can be managed and reduced with little rest.

Most of the time, symptoms of influenza C begin to reduce after a couple of days. In the event the symptoms linger for more than a couple days or start to worsen, it is essential to visit an immediate health care provider to receive a definitive diagnosis and a proper treatment plan to follow.

Not sure what type of Influenza you have? Contact us today! 

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Doctor Affordable Medical Clinic, request an appointment in our Tampa office here: Or call us at (813) 337-0108.